Okay, so it was never a healthy drink. On par with Tang, Sunny D or Kool-Aid, Beep was mostly sugar with some juice thrown in, but for many Nova Scotian kids, it was the beverage of choice.
I haven’t had the stuff since my early 20s. Even after I moved to Toronto, my folks would always buy a carton of Beep for me when I was back in Halifax for a visit. And then one time I forgot about it, or maybe my tastes and attitude had changed and I told them not to bother, I can’t remember.
But when news came down that Farmers Dairy was shutting down production of the lurid orange fruit drink, I think we all heaved a nostalgic sigh for childhood innocence. And started remembering the stuff with fondness.
My brother remembers heading down the hill from our Grandmother’s house to the corner store for a carton of Beep. My memories place it on the kitchen table in my Grandmother’s kitchen – my own trips down the hill to the store usually involving bottles of pink cream soda and a grape shoestring licorice as a straw – and glasses of it with breakfast or lunch because my brother, cousins and I all found real orange juice to be too sour.
I can also remember it being delivered by the milkman to my other Grandmother’s house, alongside glass bottles of milk. I would have been maybe 4 or 5 years old. And how the milkman would hand me the bright yellow carton to carry up the stairs from the back door into the house.
Beep was one of those things we figured would always be there, even if we didn’t drink it anymore. And now that’s it’s not going to be, a little part of childhood is gone forever.